23 Jul 2012

New Zealand gives two million dollars to aid Fiji elections preparations

7:48 pm on 23 July 2012

New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, is providing 2 million New Zealand dollars in support of Fiji's elections planned for 2014.

The minister met with his Fiji counterpart, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, in Suva at the weekend.

Sally Round reports:

"Mr McCully confirmed the lion's share of support will go towards the Constitution Commission which will receive half a million dollars for its work consulting on the new constitution. There will also be support for voter education and ongoing help with voter registration. Last week the Commission had strong criticism for continued restrictions on freedoms in Fiji seen to be hampering the process on debate in the country. Mr McCully says New Zealand is watching the situation closely but he is satisfied that things are running to timetable. He says it is not yet time for a return to normal on the diplomatic front and that is a matter for New Zealand and Australia to decide together. Mr McCully is in Tonga at the start of a three-country Pacific tour."